Newell Brands will sell The Waddington Group to Novolex Holdings

Newell Brands will sell The Waddington Group to Novolex Holdings for about $2.3 billion. The Waddington Group includes Eco-Products, Polar Pak containers, serving ware, drink-ware and cutlery, and WNA upscale disposable plastic products. In addition, Newell expanded its Accelerated Transformation Plan, including restructuring and divesting non-core businesses representing approximately 35% of its sales.

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Metrics That Matter

IRI’s latest Point of View, “Merchandising Strategy: Optimize In-Store Performance for Growth with Metrics that Matter,” demonstrates how CPG manufacturers and retailers use big data and analytics to drive successful in-store programs that win.


NAFTA withdrawal would mean higher consumer prices, study finds

Withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would cost retailers and consumers up to $16 billion a year and lead to the loss of 128,000 retail-related jobs over the next three years, according to a recently released A.T. Kearney study that was prepared for the National Retail Federation (NRF), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI).

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How does a new emerging product target effectively find its audience?

MMI Brands is in a strategic alliance with IRI, a global leader in syndicated sales data and market research, to develop new and emerging brands introduction initiatives.

Robert Berg has been working in the CPG industry for more than 25 years. After earning an MBA from The Wharton School, Robert began his career at Coopers & Lybrand Consulting and PriceWaterhouse-Coopers Consulting. Working for IBM Global Business Services, Robert worked on one of the largest CPG mergers in 2001. During his 13-year tenure with IRI, Robert has focused on rolling out new solutions for both CPG manufacturers and retailers and is currently working with mid-market clients.  He is also charged with helping IRI clients receive the greatest value from their investment in IRI’s consumer and shopper solutions.


  1. Previously we talked about focusing on the right shoppers and right retailers. You provided more details on how you target the right retailers. Let’s talk about targeting the right shoppers and let’s take a tough example. One of the challenges of a new emerging product is that there is not a lot of information on the product buyers. How does a new emerging product target effectively find its audience?


That’s a really important point and I appreciate you raising it. Companies want to find the buyers who will buy more of their product and find them efficiently. Finding the right audience drives faster re-order and validation. Getting the first order and expanding distribution is really exciting. Getting the first re-order is just as exciting. The faster we find a product’s initial audience, the more efficient the whole company’s operation becomes.


How do we effectively find these buyers? The greatest predictor of future purchasing is past purchasing. However, when you don’t have past purchasing history, what can we use? We use product attributes. The capability is available to target buyers of the collection of attributes. What we do is help companies compile a group of existing products that have the attributes of the new product. These attributes can be natural/organic quality, ancient grains, weight loss, vitamin-enhanced, size, format, packaging, etc.


We aggregate the buyers of these attributes and find household clusters that buy the collection of the attributes. This is the starting point of who the buyers are. As the product builds and engages with more buyers, we will see additional households that the product resonates with.


The value of the initial target buyers is to focus the resources of the company in those locations and play bigger in locations that mean more to the product success.


  1. What is unique about this approach?


There are a number of propriety things in this approach. Briefly, it’s an accessible, purchasing-based solution for creating and crafting targets to new emerging products. Getting this type of information quickly and accurately was something only large manufacturers and retailers had access to. IRI offers the ability to associate the purchases of products to households. This allows us to find the households that have a high propensity for the collection of products with certain attributes. IRI has made this process fast, accurate and accessible. The target is created in a few days with the ability to then contact actual households for activation, geographies and retailers for prioritizing resources.


  1. What data do you use?


We blend a few databases together. IRI has access to a panel of more than 100,000 people, who track their purchasing and consumption. This is how we identify the households who are purchasing particular products.   There are other datasets we use, such as Experian’s ConsumerView a database with 126 million U.S. households; Experian’s Mosaic, which is Experian’s proprietary lifestyle segmentation; and Simmon’s National Consumer Panel, a database for media and psychographic insights.  There are other databases and methodologies we use; however, these are the most visible ones.


  1. How does someone use this to reach the right audience?


There are two ways to reach your target audience. One is directly to the consumer and the second is through the retailer. The direct to consumer contact strategy is enabled through IRI’s relationship with Experian.  Once we have created a target, we can send to Experian. Through Experian, we can also get mailing addresses, email addresses or telephone numbers.  Here a two examples.

A food client used a mailing list of all the target households shopping at a retailer. They mailed this set of households a colorful flier. Before the mailing, 38% of the converted shoppers spend on this category were purchased at the retailer. After the campaign, 43% of the converted shoppers spend was on this category in this store with more on the company’s product.   This is an indication that a sharper focus on current shoppers at a retailer can influence and improve performance.

A health and beauty client used a target to focus on the right buyer and right locations for this product. This move made a big impact, because the client understood where NOT to focus and eliminated 25% of the stores that were low fit and low potential. The client went forward with a digital campaign at 75% of the cost and achieved close to 100% of their goals. The savings dropped to their bottom line.

This is the strategy of relative strength: invest in the consumers or in the stores which have a higher propensity to be a valued, long-term investment. The opposite side to this strategy is to eliminate spend on consumers and stores with a low return on investment.


      5.  Is this useful more for marketing or for sales?


Both marketing and sales can use this information – they use different elements very differently. Good marketers really know how to leverage this data to inform their marketing planning. Good sales people need to know at which retailers to engage these consumers and use it for a compelling story about these shoppers to the retailer.

It’s important to transfer the information in a way that’s useful. Many times, this data is provided as a data dump and there is a disconnect between having the data and using it productively. It’s important to quickly find your story and highlight the facts each audience needs to understand.


      6.  What is the value proposition for something like this?


The minimum one should be able to recoup from this information is to eliminate the 25% lowest ROI consumers or retailers from their plans. Eliminate the marketing and sales expenditures on areas with high concentration of low potential consumers.  It’s a straight cost saving and falls right to the bottom line.

Finding your product’s audience and then planning your marketing and sales more effectively can be worth a lot of money. To get a higher return from your marketing and sales, it is important to craft a target based on the needs of the company and the near-term activation. You may want to isolate younger households or households that are more responsive to digital media. Those are modifications that can be made to the target to ensure that the group is more focused and resources can be deployed with more effective and efficient results.


Lassonde agreed to acquire Old Orchard Brands

Lassonde agreed to acquire Old Orchard Brands, a Sparta, MI-based juice and beverage company, for $146 million. The acquisition of Old Orchard Brands will improve Lassonde’s manufacturing footprint in the midwestern U.S., further strengthen the company’s presence in the U.S. national brands juice sector, and provide access to a production line for frozen concentrated products.

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Trader Joe’s Launches First-Ever Podcast Series

Trader Joe’s, a national chain of neighborhood grocery stores, launched its first-ever podcast. The five-part series takes listeners inside the national grocery chain to answer questions customers frequently ask and reveal never before heard stories about the retailer.

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